German Potato Salad

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Bacon, apple cider vinegar, onion and sugar give this German potato salad a kick! Traditionally served warm, this potato side dish is a delicious combination of salty and sweet.

There are a few recipes that I remember well from my growing up years. Fruit Cake Bars, Cheesy Potatoes, Scalloped Corn…and this German Potato Salad recipe.

Although I’ve grown to like potato salad more in my grown up years, I’ll be honest that my mom’s German potato salad was not my favorite when I was young. There is a sweet vinegar aroma while it cooks and that smell just used to turn me off. I’m all about sweet and salty though, so I gave it another chance as an adult. I’ve come to enjoy this more over the years and if you remember it from your childhood, maybe you will too. And….bacon…so who can say no to that??

closeup of german potato salad

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Traditional, old fashioned recipe
  • Sweet & tangy vinegar sauce
  • Served warm so no need to keep cold
  • Bacon!!

Is German potato salad really German?

According to Wikipedia, southern Germany makes potato salad with vinegar, bacon and onions. In northern Germany, the potato salad is mayonnaise based and is similar to United States potato salad.

You’ll find that there are different variations of potato salad. My mom’s German potato salad has potatoes, bacon and onion. It has a sweet and tangy sauce made of sugar, vinegar, flour and water.

What kind of potatoes are best for potato salad?

Low starch potatoes are best for salads because they hold their shape after boiling. For this salad, choose red potatoes and Yukon gold or yellow potatoes. Read our Complete Potato Guide.

How do you make hot German potato salad?

The first step to making the recipe is to prepare the potatoes.  Get a large pan of water heating while you peel the potatoes and cube them. Allow the potato cubes to boil until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork.

  • While the potatoes are boiling, heat a skillet and cook the bacon and onion together until the bacon is as crisp as you’d like it. Remember that the bacon will soften some once it gets in the potato salad.
  • In a small bowl mix together the sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar and water.
  • Add a tablespoon of flour to the skillet with the cooked bacon and onion. Use a spatula or a whisk to mix it in well. This will help the sauce to thicken slightly.
  • Add the vinegar mixture and use a whisk to mix well.
  • Allow the sauce to thicken slightly.
  • Then add the bacon and onions to the drained, cooked potatoes and pour the hot sauce all over.
  • Mix well and serve warm.
pouring dressing over bacon and potatoes

Does German potato salad have to be served warm?

In most cases German potato salad is served warm, but you can serve it cold if you’d like.

How long does potato salad last in the refrigerator?

This side dish should last about 3-4 days in the refrigerator if sealed in an airtight container.

a bowl of potato salad with a wooden serving spoon

Can you freeze potato salad?

Because this salad does not have mayonnaise in it, you can freeze it. However, potato salad in general doesn’t freeze the best. When it thaws, liquids from the potatoes can separate and the salad can become soupy. It’s best to store it in the refrigerator.

What goes with this?

Brats and sausages are always good with a warm potato salad. It’s also delicious with chicken, fried fish, pork chops or a hamburger.

bowl of german potato salad
bowl of german potato salad

German Potato Salad

5 from 1 vote
Bacon, apple cider vinegar, onion and sugar give this German potato salad a kick! Traditionally served warm, this potato side dish is a delicious combination of salty and sweet.
Servings 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

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  • ½ pound bacon (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • cup water
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups diced red potatoes (peeled and cooked)


  • Fry bacon pieces and chopped onion together until bacon is cooked through to as crispy as you’d like it.
  • Remove the bacon and onion from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Leave the bacon grease in the pan (it should be about 2 tablespoons of fat. If there is less, add oil).
  • In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar and water. Set aside.
  • Add the flour to the grease in the skillet and use a whisk to blend it.
  • Add the sugar/water mixture to the pan with the bacon grease roux. Use a whisk to mix well.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and allow the mixture to slightly thicken.
  • Place the cooked potatoes in a bowl and add the bacon and onion.
  • Pour the dressing over the potatoes. Mix well.
  • Serve hot.


The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 8, with 1 serving being ⅛ of the salad. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**


Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 632mg | Potassium: 254mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 4.2mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 187
Keyword best potato recipes, salad recipes, side dish recipes
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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